Senate bill seeks creation of Philippine Space Agency

Sen. Loren Legarda has filed a bill creating the Philippine Space Agency (PSA), an agency that will address all national issues and activities related to space science and technology applications.

An all-Filipino team assembled Diwata-1 in Japan

An all-Filipino team assembled Diwata-1 in Japan

In filing Senate Bill No. 1259, Legarda proposed the creation of the PSA and a National Space Development and Utilization Policy (NSDUP), which will serve as the country’s primary strategic roadmap for space development and will embody the country’s goal of becoming a space-capable and space-faring nation within the next decade.

Over the last few years, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has pushed for the creation of the space agency. Last year, it marked a major milestone in space technology when it launched Diwata-1 into space.

Diwata-1 is the country’s first country’s first micro-satellite designed and assembled by Filipino researchers and engineers under the guidance of Japanese experts from Hokkaido University and Tohoku University. The satellite is designed to provide real-time images for disaster risk management and other applications.

Legarda noted that the Philippines is lagging behind its neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore, each having space agencies with satellites devoted to telecommunications or earth monitoring.

“It is unfortunate that due to lack of local support to this field, many of our globally competitive Filipino space scientists have instead opted to serve in space agencies abroad,” said Legarda.

She added that space programs and development are not limited to sending astronauts to space and engineering space crafts and technologies.

“Space programs and development address basic needs in our daily lives such as the application of global navigation satellite systems which directly affects industries, transportation management, national security, health management, climate studies and disaster risk management, and the expansion of scientific engineering resources,” said Legarda.

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